I pulled the lid off a container filled with a ready made salad from Trader Joes. The strong smell of purple onions immediately wafted to my nose. I’ve never liked onions. In fact if you’ve ever shared a meal with me, you know I don’t like onions, along with peppers, hot sauce and pretty much anything else Rachael Ray will throw in a dish.
But this time the smell made me hungry. I was even looking forward to the extra flavor they would add to the lettuce my tiny packet of dressing would barely cover.
I didn’t pick them out. I didn’t force my fork to avoid them. I ate the onions. Raw. And I liked it.
Yet, liking onions is something difficult to swallow.
It feels like choosing to enjoy this tear inducing vegetable suddenly negates all my years of despising them. As if I were wrong to curse McDonald’s for chopping their onions so small they were near impossible to pick off. As if I erred in asking my husband to make two batches of guacamole, one with...and one without.
It’s as if I can hear the voices around me shaming me and saying, “I told you so. I told you onions were good. Think of all the yummy meals you missed out on while you lived in hate of the onion.”
Perhaps this is why changing one’s mind, even to something as simple as a preference in flavoring food, is so hard. Thinking the new way means you have to think the old way is wrong. And therefore you were wrong.
But does it really?
Certainly there are plenty of things in life, I was wrong about and then changed my mind. But there are also plenty of thoughts that are simply different, not right or wrong.
Like career choices. Like politics. Like the interpretation of a Bible verse. Like how to raise a child, or views on marriage. Like onions in a salad.
Maybe it’s living in such absolutes that keep us from changing, which keeps us from growing...which keeps us apart.
Food for thought.